Ridesharing simply refers to owners of private vehicles offering transportation to others for free or for payment.
In recent decades, ridesharing apps, websites, and mobile platforms have appeared, allowing drivers and passengers in many locations to connect more efficiently and securely. Drivers make extra income and passengers save money on transportation costs and time looking for parking.
Sharing rides in a car, van, or bus to get to a common destination is an old concept now benefiting from the technological boost of smartphones and apps.
While Uber and Lyft are two of the more prominent rideshare services today, many other companies also provide similar services in specific areas of the country, each one having its own regulations for drivers, insurance regulations, restrictions on vehicle age, and other rules.
Ridesharing and carpooling also happen on a more informal basis between students, work colleagues, and other people who all need to get to the same destination and decide to share the ride.
Examples of Rideshare Services and Apps
Sidecar is a San Francisco based ridesharing network now also available in 10 other cities, linking drivers who set their own prices with others traveling in the same direction. The organization screens drivers, employs a GPS-tracker to monitor rides, and provides insurance. Cars must be manufactured in the year 2000 or later.
Turo is a peer-to-peer network for allowing car owners to rent-out their vehicle at their price. Pick up locations vary, and some are located at airports. The car owner is notified by the company when someone wants to book their car, but the owner makes all the decisions about the rental.
Getaround is another peer-to-peer car rental service. Customers use an app to find a nearby car and pay an hourly or daily fee for using it. The company manages the payments and covers insurance for a price. Car owners make extra cash from their car when hey are not using it.
JustShareIt facilitates rentals of private cars in seven major U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, Portland, and Miami. Trucks, vans, SUVs, and RVs are available to drivers with a credit card and a valid driver’s license. The company provides roadside assistance and insurance and an online platform and apps for booking and billing rides.
Large organizations and transportation agencies also often sponsor rideshare services and develop their own regulations for eligible cars and drivers. Local transportation agencies often become involved in ridesharing programs by supporting GPS enabled driver- to-rider matching applications.
Insurance for Rideshare Drivers
The emergence of large rideshare companies has prompted insurance providers to develop coverage specially designed for this niche of drivers. Drivers who take up ridesharing for extra income should not rely solely on their regular auto insurance and should buy a separate rideshare policy unless they are working for a company that provides insurance coverage for drivers.
Rideshare insurance covers the driver and passenger once a ride request is accepted and continues through the ride. However, some policies do not include drivers between rides, so buyers of this insurance should shop carefully for a plan giving them the coverage they need.
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